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Showing posts from November 27, 2016

HHS Secretary Nominee Price’s Health Plan Would Severely Weaken Health Coverage and Consumer Protections

BY EDWIN PARK President-elect Trump’s selection of House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services should focus attention on Price’s health plan, [1] which to date has received little scrutiny.   THE PRICE PLAN WOULD REPEAL THE ACA AND REPLACE IT WITH HIGHLY INADEQUATE FINANCIAL HELP TO ENABLE FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS TO BUY HEALTH COVERAGE.  Like other Republican congressional health plans, it would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with highly inadequate financial help to enable families and individuals to buy health coverage — likely leaving many of the 20 million people who have gained coverage under the ACA uninsured or without needed care. [2] By repealing the ACA, the Price plan would eliminate its market reforms and consumer protections and even likely result in states having weaker insurance regulations than before the ACA.  It would let insurers once again exclude coverage of many people’s pre-existing conditi

Top Five Threats to Children and Families Posed by a Medicaid Block Grant

Many  questions remain  about what the new administration and Congress have in store for vulnerable children and families. Of course, the president-elect and congressional leaders have indicated  repeal of the ACA  will be a top priority early next year and, among other things, would end the Medicaid expansion and children’s coverage protections. But what other changes to Medicaid might be expected? President-elect Trump has said he will block grant Medicaid, a proposal consistent with proposals that some in Congress have put forth in some form reaching back to the 90s—they haven’t been successful yet. But House Speaker Paul Ryan has promoted the Medicaid block grant approach, accompanied by very substantial cuts in federal spending, as recently as this past summer. With block grants appearing yet again in the public discourse, we figured it might be a good time to remind readers of our top five reasons why transforming the successful Medicaid program into a block grant is still a

The Future of Federal Health Care Policy

In light of the recent election, the  Washington Update of November 16  included detailed information about the possible futures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), domestic discretionary spending, and prescription drug policies. The president-elect and congressional leaders have vowed to repeal the ACA and drastically alter the nature of the Medicaid program by turning it into a block grant or capping federal payments on a per-beneficiary basis. In addition, federal funding for CHIP will cease after  September 30  unless Congress and the president approve continued funding.   ACA Repeal  Some  congressional leaders are aiming to have an ACA-repeal bill on the new president's desk as early as inauguration day ,  January 20 . To avoid causing an immediate loss of insurance to millions of Americans, however, any legislation passed early next year will likely delay repeal for a couple years, until an ACA replacement ca

NAMI Survey about Accessing Mental Health Services

Affordable mental health and substance use care is crucial to recovery and self-sufficiency.  Yet for  many, accessing care is like navigating an obstacle course.    NAMI is conducting an online survey to explore what people experience when they attempt to access mental health and substance use care compared to other types of medical care.  By collecting responses from across the country, we hope to gain a sense of how coverage affects access to care and what difficulties still exist.   We will share our findings in the continuing effort to improve access to quality care. This survey is open to all individuals and families, regardless of their type of health coverage.  Respondents may complete the survey for themselves or on behalf of a loved one.   The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and is available in both English  and  Spanish . Thank you. Deadline:   Saturday, December 31, 2016, Midnight EST Questions? Contact Sita Diehl at

Key Medicaid Questions Post-Election

From Kaiser Family Foundation: Medicaid covers about 73 million people nationwide.  Jointly financed by the federal and state governments, states have substantial flexibility to administer the program under existing law.  Medicaid provides health insurance for low-income children and adults, financing for the safety net, and is the largest payer for long-term care services in the community and nursing homes for seniors and people with disabilities.  President-elect Trump supports repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a Medicaid block grant. The GOP plan would allow states to choose between block grant and a  per capita cap financing  for Medicaid. The new Administration could also make changes to Medicaid without new legislation. 1. HOW WOULD ACA REPEAL AFFECT MEDICAID? A repeal of the ACA’s coverage expansion provisions would remove the new eligibility pathway created for adults, increase the number of uninsured and reduce the amount of federal Medicaid f